Hello everyone! Well another week has flown by like nothing and the weeks left are getting few. I have been in the single digits for a few weeks now which is weird. But that's the way it is so there's no fighting it. I don't like seeing missionaries who pretend they aren't going home soon when in reality they are. I feel like they're just tricking their minds into something that's not real and then when reality does hit its intense. I just tell myself not to fake myself into thinking I'm not going home and its been going well for me. I like working hard and getting things done, but at the same time I'm not getting freaked out about going home. Its been a nice balance. There has to be a good balance between preparing to go home and not getting trunky!
The past week has been interesting. The first few days were a little crazy with lots of stuff because the Heppler's were getting ready to peace out of here and get back home. So things just seemed a little bit hectic. However, the Heppler's last day was Wednesday and then things have settled down big time after that! I spent a large part of my first solo day getting my work area organized along with the regular daily stuff I have to do. I basically filled a whole trash can with papers and notes that were lying around. But I now have my desk/work area nice and clean and organized which is helping the work tremendously! Things were pretty difficult before because you would have to try to find things that you needed and dig through piles looking for things, but now all the junk is gone and its super easy to keep everything straight! So what seemed like a crazy job has proved to be much more simple the last couple days now that everything is organized!
Wanna hear a funny story about what I thought was a "lost car incident"? Well, I'm gonna tell ya. I got an email yesterday morning from the insurance claim adjuster saying that the repairs/maintenance for one of our vehicles were approved and to schedule repairs. Well, I went looking through my neat pile of vehicle folders that were preparing for sale and I couldn't find this vehicle. So I went looking through our program on our computer and I could not find this vehicle in our system! So I called the insurance guy to check to make sure that it wasn't a mistake and that he got the correct mission and the correct VIN number and everything. Sure enough, he sent all the correct information. UGH! SOOOOO, I call our repair people at Paint Doctor and they sure enough didn't have this vehicle there, and the lady was looking through trying to find it on her computer and she couldn't find it!!!!!!!!!!! So here I am, second day on the job, and I have a vehicle that is nowhere to be found.......... however, right at my moment of despair, the lady from the Paint Doctor found records for that vehicle from back in May! I ended up finding the folder for this vehicle and all of the dates were from end of July/August. So do you feel the mess I was in here? Luckily the Paint Doctor lady figured out that they did the repair back in May but they had some problems with the estimates and insurance and they ended up not getting all the insurance and payments taken care of until just yesterday. However, the vehicle hasn't been in the mission since June! So, that was one head scratcher that I had to deal with yesterday. It was quite a stressful 10 minutes.
Something super fun about my assignment is dealing with the sister missionaries! Oh my, its so funny! I had a sister the other day call me about a few "aggressive drivings" she had received that day, and it was the greatest phone call ever! "I promise you Elder Ericson that I'm a good driver! I'm just not used to the traffic in Midland, its super scary!" She then went on to explain how she was basically personally offended that TIWI would give her those violations. Oh man, I had a good laugh with her/at her. And then another time I was on the phone with some sisters about something and they were driving in their car and had it on speakerphone when I heard a "check your speed" warning coming out of TIWI's big mouth. "Ohhhh myyyyy goooosh!!! I heard that!" is how I responded and they had to run in circles trying to explain that one! Hahaha it super fun! I get a kick out of it all!
By mid-week I was super exhausted! We have to be at the office at 9:00 and then we basically were working straight through until like a solid 5:30 with no breaks or nothing. I would chow down some lunch somewhere in there and just keep working. And then we would get home and leave to go to a dinner appointment soon after and then not get home until 9:00. So I was basically getting no breaks all day long. I wasn't super with it in the evenings at all! However, now that I just spent some time organizing things, my days are way more simple. I take myself a nice solid lunch break for 45-60 minutes and just chill and watch videos and read articles on the church websites, and then peace out of there promptly at 5:00, and then actually get a break before we have to leave to go somewhere! So its been super nice the last couple days. Actually pretty enjoyable! Spiritually it has actually been a little rough. I felt like I kind of hit a plateau in Abilene for a while, but then in Hobbs I got myself fired up again! I got my testimony alive and burning, and I was doing the Lord's work for him! I was feeling good, that's for sure! However things got difficult when I came here. I just wasn't as alive and burning spiritually and alive in my missionary work as I was. So I've had to figure things out, and I'm getting there!
We've been to the temple twice in the last few days so that's been a boost! We went on Wednesday with a recent convert in the ward to do baptisms and confirmations, and then we went just this morning with a less-active lady who Elder Hawes knew from a past area that was getting endowed! (Side note: this is my second time living just about a mile away from the temple! Score!) So especially this morning was a boost. And then I've just been trying to get more out of my prayers and my short study time, which is sometimes difficult. And then last night we were out doing our work and we were doing a little project when at about 8:25 decided I just needed to knock on some doors. So, we knocked on probably about 8 doors or so before we walked back to the car. We only had two older ladies answer the door and they weren't much of the kind talkative variety. But I felt better after just knocking on a few doors!
Also another note to make, at the start of the transfer, so after another week or so) we will be getting our own area. They are splitting the ward into two areas. So we will take Canyon West South and then the other elders will take Canyon West North. Canyon West South is where all the preachers live so it will be a good time! We don't do very much work in the south part of the area currently, and the missionaries never really do because its just not worth working down there. But hey, it will be perfect for us just working for a couple hours every evening!
Anyway, its been a good time with the #QuadSquad together in Canyon West! We have gotten ourselves together most of the way. We actually shut up at night pretty close to bedtime. Mostly because we are all just tired, but we've figured things out. It is quite the good time though! I will never forget my three weeks I will spend with the #QuadSquad with Elders Hawes, Cook, and Schofield! Let's go!!!!
Oh my goodness, almost forgot to add this in. I totally just signed my name and then it dawned on me. I had a super duper wonderful ribeye steak on Monday night! Oh man, that sucker was a solid 16 oz or so of goodness. We ate over at the Lowder's house who is a famous family in the missionary world! They are one of the main people getting taught on The District 1 that is one of our missionary training videos. In fact, my friends and I watched all of The District episodes together the summer before we left, and when Sis Lowder (who wasn't a member at the time) was being taught Kevin (my cousin) started crying!!! Hahaha I told her that story before we left and she got a kick out of it! They are super awesome! I laughed a ton that night!!! Probably my fave people in Canyon West so far right with the Fehoko's (a sweet Poly family whose son plays at Tech)!
Well friends, that's about all I got for you today. It is gameday here at Texas Tech where I am currently at so I am fixin' to get my Red Raider spirit goin' strong! Go Tech!!!!!! And I hear that my Broncos are putting a whoopin' on right now as well! But the best team of all is the Lord's team! Go Jesus!!!!!!! Let's go get 'em!!!!!!!! I love y'all and hope y'all have a wonderful week!
God bless ya!
Elder Reed Ericson